HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


El Sol - any recommendations?

I am finally going to El Sol, I have been scared away because of some of the reviews. Seems like people love the food but hate the service. I am bracing myself for a very long meal but will be with friends and knocking back some margaritas so I should be relaxed about it.

Any recommendations on what to order?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I can't recommend anything as I have not been in years, but you may want to head over there right after eating lunch, because it will be time for dinner when you get served. :-)

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      really, it's that bad?

      ok so once you are served is the food very good?

      1. re: katbri

        We usually enjoyed the food, but just couldn't handle the delays. At least you don't have to bring a spare change of clothes. It's been over 6 years since we were there, so I can't comment on the food. I think the wait is still the same, based on posts I've read.

        1. re: katbri

          In fairness to El Sol, I have to say that I have eaten many meals there over the last couple of years. Once, it was slow. Another time, everything came excessively quickly. Usually, food arrives at a reasonable pace.

        2. re: foodyDudey

          Also, bring bottled water to sip so you do not die of thirst whilst waiting to place a drink order, or waiting for your drinks to arrive. Remove all watches and time-keeping devices before entering so you are not aware of how much time is passing.

        3. The mole was very flavourful but the chicken itself was way overcooked last time we were there. The pozole was quite good. The tacos and various other tortilla-based dishes were also good. The cactus salad isn't worth the money. And yes, the wait was very long.

          1. Hate to join the pile-on, but don't expect them to make quick with those margaritas either. We always enjoyed the pricey guacomole and the mixed taco platter (can't remember exactly what it is called). I also liked the garlic shrimp. Haven't been there for years though. A weekday for two was always doable - a large party on the weekend made for a long wait, and again they don't make up for it with the drink or chips service.

            1. Like others, I haven't been there in a long time, specifically because of the service. Yes, it was that slow.

              The guac and sangria were always good. Other things had an odd problem: they cooked dishes to order (thus the wait, even when the place was empty) that would have been better cooked in advance.

              Thus, long waits for overcooked chicken in an otherwise tasty mole, and for cheap cuts of beef that needed long, slow cooking but arrived undercooked and tough.

              As to today's food or service, I don't know.

              1. Same as everyone else - I haven't been in a couple years, and the service was sloooow.

                I've heard that the regulars know enough to phone in their food orders ahead of time, to cut down on the wait once they arrive. I don't know how well that works, having never tried it myself.

                1. I used to love the food and suffer through the service. Last time I was back (more than a year ago), the food looked the same but the flavour was incredibly blah. I was so disappointed. I always LOVED their veggie platter thingy for two. But last time, yeah, the only neat thing about the place was enjoyable were the wall decorations.

                  1. I also haven't been in a while (1.5-2 years?) because of how slow it was. The first time I went it was 45 minutes and I was alone and there was only one other table seated in the whole place. I learned to take company with me after that and went back a good 6-8 times.

                    The wait was never anything less than 30-45 minutes and sometimes longer. The drinks took at least 15 minutes to show up and I never had the energy to ask for refills.

                    The food was good, though. The pozole was nice and their mole was strong and bitter as it should be – my chicken was usually alright (overcooked on occasion though). The pricing was a bit high and the service lacked.

                    Now that there are other good options in this neighbourhood (Ethiopian mainly) and other decent Mexican options elsewhere, I haven't had the desire to return.

                    1. Our frequency wavers.

                      here's the scoop and the secret about ordering: make your decisions asap. when they come to your table to take your drink order (which will be 5-10 min after you sit down) order your food as well. if you do that, then your food will come within the hour. and yes, i said within the hour. sometimes its 30 minutes, usually its more.

                      but when it comes, its worth it. i personally love it. if you know how to order, you will be STUFFED and full.

                      my suggestion: avoid the guac. its expensive and a small order. and you will be stuffed by the mains.

                      if you want to eat food at 7, get there for 6ish. if you get there at 7, plan on eating your food at 8. and so on.

                      if you want a no brainer to order, there is a platter for 2 for carnivores and one that's for meat eaters. both are very good, but personally, i would just order from the menu and not be stuck with assorted tacos.

                      their enchaladas en mole are amazing - IF you like mole. and their mole is authentic. nice and spicy and rich. i do not suggest that you order a mole plate for yourself because a) the enchaladas are huge, and b) mole is incredibly rich, so eating 3 enchaladas will be overkill. you can easily go with 2 other people and each eat 1 of the enchaladas and be satisfied.

                      i love the sopes there. i think they are amazing. you get 2 per plate. i personally order the chicken sopes. they are like open home-made pitas with lettuce, potato and chicken (or whatever meat you choose). trust me on this and order it. subtle tastes but incredibly well done.

                      all of their tacos are good (the first items on their menu) depending on what you want and how many people are going. don't ask the waitress what the difference is between 1, 2 or 3 on the menu. some of the staff is new and english is not their strongpoint.

                      all dishes come with amazing tasting rice and excellent refried beans. if it was you and 1 other person and you ordered 2 dishes in total, you will almost definitely have leftovers. 3 people can probably share 2 dishes, depending on how big of eaters you are...but that may almost be pushing it quantity-wise.

                      drinks: i love their drinks. they are not shy on the alcohol. just remember that you will finish your first drink well before dinner comes, so be prepared to drink slowly or to have a fairly high bill. i love the sangria and their margharitas are nice. their pina colada is also very good.

                      its like any restaurant - if you have false expectations, don't bother to go to El Sol. if you go there knowing that you should not go when you are starving and you are prepared to have nice conversation until your food arrives, its a great resto. if you go there and want to eat within 30 min of being seated - be prepared to be upset at the service.